POST-PANDEMIC tourism destinations should be safe, small and sustainable.
These are the types of tourist spots under the new normal landscape that will attract the safety-conscious travelers, according to former Cebu Provincial Tourism officer and now sustainable tourism consultant Boboi Costas.
“Sustainability is a journey because it takes time and effort for a destination (to be one). It is a process,” he said.
Costas said destinations under the radar are those that put a premium on safety protocols and travelers’ well-being.
“People these days tend to check the place before they go there to make sure it is safe,” he said.
He cited towns like Aloguinsan, Alcoy, Argao, Bogo, Boljoon, Catmon, San Remigio and Tabogon as Cebu destinations ready for post-pandemic tourism.
Costas said these towns have their respective community-based cultural, culinary and nature tourism activities.
The presence of a strong community that protects the different tourism assets like the historical sites, forests and seas is vital in the development of a destination. Support from the local government unit is also an added boost.
He said these destinations have been blessed with the involvement and informed participation of the locals—the housewives, husbands and other individuals—who have a collective intent of protecting the environment and using the natural resources wisely.
Costas said there is a big chance for a small-scale tourism destination to thrive if it promotes open air activities, has bigger space for social distancing and has plenty of nature-based offerings while adhering to the stringent safety protocols.
“Post-Covid tourism promotes proximity like local tourists. It enhances the local value chain by tapping local suppliers and producers to spur economic activity,” he said.
He advised developing tourism products focused on a segmented market and a personalized tour package for a maximum of seven to 10 persons.
“We can only restart if we gain the traveler’s confidence,” he said.
Costas also emphasized the need for the promotion of digital payments and online bookings, among others.
He said digital transformation should go hand in hand with health and safety protocols. (JOB)